With Disney rebooting the majority of its animated films it’s no stretch to wonder what Princess and The Frog would look like live-action. We at NPOC have spent weeks composing what could be the perfect cast and we hope you love it just as much as we do.
- Sierra A. McClain as Tiana.
Tiana, princess by marriage, restaurateur by profession she is a smart, dedicated and hard working black woman struggling to start up her own restaurant during the Jazz Age in New Orleans, Louisiana. She later meets and falls in love with a princess who stands by her and helps her realize that dream.
This brief description showed me some parallels between the character of Tiana and the character of Nessa, from Empire. Nessa is also a young, smart black woman who is working towards her dream of being a singer, she too later meets a ‘prince’ (Andre Lyon) who helps her talent and voice find the exposure that she wouldn’t have in a world that doesn’t give chances to black women from less privileged upbringings.
Both characters are young beautiful dark skinned black women in their early to mid twenties and possess a beautiful soulful singing voice. That’s why the actress cast as Tiana is Sierra A. McClain. However young Tiana will be played by the bright and already accomplished actress, Marsai Martin.
2. Chadwick Boseman as James.
Next comes her father. The man who shared this dream of opening a restaurant with Tiana. James was a solider before he passes away. A hard-working, family man who came home every night with an aching back and a wide smile on his face because his baby girl was there waiting for him. Even in the impoverished community in which his family was raised, he was a generous man who believed in the betterment of his people. Remind you of someone? A certain prince of Wakanda? Another strong black military man who dedicated his life to the safety and advancement of his family and people. That’s why we picked Chadwick Boseman to play Tiana’s father.
3. Jennifer Lewis as Eudora
The movie that focused on Tiana and her father’s relationship so Tiana’s mother doesn’t have that much back story even though she has more screen time than her husband. All we know is that Eudora is a seamstress and beautiful supportive mother who encouraged her daughter to pursue an unlikely dream. The closest person I could think of was Jennifer Lewis. Her character Ruby Johnson on Black-ish raised her son Dre without much of a male presence and he later left his humble beginnings and became an important member of an advertising company.
4. Rajiv Surendra as Prince Naveen.
Next, comes the PRINCE OF MALDONIA NAVEEN! A larger than life, free spirited (albeit kinda douchey) privileged darkish- skinned brown dude who comes to New Orleans to find a wife so his parents don’t take away his money, but then falls for the girl’s best friend. Can we find a match? DING DING DING! We found one! Rajiv Surendra’s character Kevin G(Napoor) from Mean girls. Both are handsome men with adorable faces. Loud, flirtatious and in your face with their sauvé charm. Just like Naveen comes to woo Charlotte to help himself, Kevin G smooth talks Caddy into joining the Mathletes and both in the end fall for the best friend. Now you’re probably thinking “Damn is there a limit to this dude’s wild comparisons?” Well, baby, I’m here to tell you, “THE LIMIT DOES NOT EXIST!”
5. Irrfan Khan and Shakira Caine as the King and Queen of Maldonia.
Now his parents have no backstory. We know nothing more than that they’re the monarchs of a distant land, they have two sons and that they were willing to indulge Naveen for a period but not willing to let him run amok on their dime. But even I can’t stretch something to match that description so the actor and actress cast to play the King and Queen of Maldonia. Irrfan Khan and Shakira Claine were picked for their stately good looks. There’s a big age gap with Shakira Claine being 20 years older than Irrfan Khan but god damn her skin is better than mine and she could easily pass for early fifties.
6. Timothy Spall as Lawrence.
However! The next character was a perfect match on the first try! Lawrence, Naveen’s manservant is a small, chubby man that follows Naveen around sycophantly while nurturing a green-eyed monster. Lusting for Naveen’s money, power, good looks and a privileged life he sells his soul to the devil in a fool’s bargain to get his dark shriveled heart’s wishes fulfilled. If you don’t know who I’m about to cast as Lawrence we can’t be friends. The actor Timothy Spall, or as he is more infamously known. Peter Pettigrew. Read the books and google the actor, because we all know this is a match made in the same ungodly brew from which Voldemort was reborn.
7. Cassie Davis as Mama Odie
Let us now dig a lil deeper and bring out the actress who will do Mama Odie justice. Ladies, Gents and my non-conforming bbs let me introduce you to Ms. Cassandra “Cassie” Davis. A beautiful matronly dark skinned woman who will leave us bewitched with her magical voodoo voice. But I’ll be honest I picked her because I remember seeing her in Medea, she was a stoner grandma who was always there with some words of wisdom and comedic relief. Now obviously, Disney won’t encourage smoking the devil’s lettuce (Nor does Nerdy P.O.C, please follow your country/states/provinces legislation on the use of cannabis) but we all know that Mama Odie has some funky herbs and dance moves that she busts out when she’s brewing along with a tub of Gumbo.
8. Damion Poitier as Doctor Facilier.
Our main villain Doctor Facilier will be played the actor Damion Poitier (suggested by Twitter user Gustavo16070184). He was picked solely for his striking resemblance to the animated character, as well as his height. He also has previous experience acting as a villain (Thanos in Avengers 2012) which will translate well into the Docs character.
9. AnnaSophia Robb as Charlotte La Bouff.
Charlotte La Bouff, will be played by AnnaSophia Robb. Imagine her in as Lottie. Wrapped in voluminous gowns, or with a bright pink boa draped around her shoulders as she manically bustles around preparing a Mardi Gras float and searching for her prince to sweep her off her feet. You know she could do it just considering the heart wrench performance that she gave in Bridge to Terabithia, from which I have never recovered to be honest. Young Lottie will be played by the young actress, Erin Gerasimovich.
10. John Goodman as Eli La Bouff.
Her father Eli “Big Daddy” La Bouff, will be played by the original voice actor in the animated movie. Mr. John Goodman, he’s a tall, stocky white man with a playful twinkle in his eyes that tells you his daughter no matter what age will always be his baby girl and there isn’t a thing in the world he wouldn’t buy her. Also, with the New Orleans accent that he can do all you need to do is close your eyes visualize him and BOOM! Big Daddy stands before you in an all white suit, holding a cane in one hand, a half-eaten beignet in the other and powdered sugar sprinkled on his mustache.
11. Jim Cummings as Ray the Firefly and Michael Leon as Louis the Alligator.
Since both Ray the Firefly as well as Louis the Alligator will need voice actors only and wont have actual screen time as people, we thought it best to stick with the original voice actors. Both have already done an amazing bringing the characters to life and given them such vibrant personalities, so why fix it if it ain’t broke?
That’s all folks, let us know what you think of this fancast and tell us about any actors or actresses that you think would be better suited to these roles.
Author: Keshav Kant
Editor: Han Angus
Keshav Kant, aka Mx. KantEven, is a neuroscience nerd turned Creative Consultant and Executive Director of Off Colour!
You’ve probably seen her on TikTok or caught her work on Off Colour's many channels. From consulting on films & shows, manuscript review, conducting interviews, or hosting podcasts & panels, if there is some way to bring sensitivity and authenticity to diversity, inclusion and equity conversations, Keshav will be there.